Thread: Pole beans
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Old September 8, 2017   #68
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 276

Originally Posted by Tormato View Post
If one wants ~0% germination, go with cold wet soil and white seeded beans. Take it from an expert.
So plant them extra early? I'll second that observation, the white seeded Clem & Sarah's came up very poorly this year, as it did the last time I grew it (which was another very wet June).

Originally Posted by rxkeith View Post
terrible bean year for me here.
i planted 10 varieties of pole beans mid june. we had cool rainy weather for over a week after seeds were planted. thats just how it goes here sometimes.
only three varieties came up.
Had pretty much the same happen to most of my direct-seeded beans this year, for the same reason. Had backup transplants for all but one of the failures... and the exception was Fortex, which was supposed to be my main crop snap bean. I too ended up using runner bean snaps, from Sunset runner. The summer has been much cooler than normal, we never even broke 90 F., so the runner bean pods were longer & more tender than usual.

If several abnormally wet years have taught me anything constructive, it is the value of pole beans vs. bush in wet weather. Pole beans dry out faster after a rain, hold their pods well off the ground (out of reach of rot, rodents, and snails), and generally have fewer pest & disease issues. They also have a much higher yield per plant, so transplants - such as those which have saved my bean crops two years in a row - are highly effective.

The beans I grow change every year, in a planned rotation; but as luck would have it, had more than my usual quota of bush beans this year, 4 out of 11 varieties. Lost over 50% of one variety due to disease, two others are stunted & have about 1/2 of their normal yield, and the last one - while healthy - was slow to recover, and is several weeks behind where it should be. All of the pole varieties are healthy. While there are several bush beans I will continue to grow (for either soup or shellies) pole beans will always be the backbone of my bean planting.

Oh, and one other advantage of pole beans - they can be used as a wind break to protect tender crops. I've had great results growing okra & Moringa on the South side of several trellises of pole beans, where they benefit from the slightly warmer micro climate.
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